[olug] Help for a newbie system adminstrator

Brady Cox brady.cox at gmail.com
Sat Aug 8 13:37:39 UTC 2009

Figuring out the system baseline for memory and cpu usage would be a
good idea.  What does it look like under heavy load?  What users
typically run what processes?  Who is your most 'prolific' user?  Who
is the guy who always writes code that makes things thrash?   Be able
to look at the box at any given time and be able to tell in under 1
minute that 'something is wrong'.

The other thing that I feel is very important: What is your disaster
recovery plan?  Is it written out in a policy?  If not, do so.  Plan
for everything from "Bob overwrote my file" to FBI/Thieves come in and
literally take your box and all your backup tapes on site.  Having it
written down sounds hokey, but when the shit hits the fan it really
helps you to not panic, which everyone knows is Rule #1.  Plus your
boss will probably like it, and you'll probably be doing it at your
next job also.


On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 11:27 PM, Dave Thacker<dthacker9 at cox.net> wrote:
> On Friday 07 August 2009 06:31:24 adunlop wrote:
>> Go to O'Reilly's website and start ordering Linux Networking,
>> Security, and RHEL system administration books.  You'll probably want
>> to snag something on Selinux as well.  http://tldp.org/ and Red Hat's
>> website has a lot of information on it as well.
>> Aaron
> I'd consider a subscription to Safari bookshelf.   You can have 10 slots
> (usually 8-10 books) on your shelf for about 20 bucks a month or unlimited
> for $42.  I found it to be very handy.
> Dave Thacker
>> On Aug 7, 2009, at 11:17 AM, Edward Monical-Vuylsteke wrote:
>> > Thank you very much for your responses. I appreciate it.
>> >
>> > 1) What are my duties as System Administrator:
>> > - For the people who asked, I will be pretty much the person making
>> > sure the
>> > box is providing the support the end users need. In the long run,
>> > this means
>> > "whatever needs doing".
>> > - Creating and maintaining a development environment for the two
>> > developers
>> > that will be using the box.
>> > - Handling all system related tasks (security, etc).
>> >
>> > 2) Reason for the request.
>> > I currently have no real idea as to the full scope of my duties. It
>> > is one
>> > of those interesting situations where the whole thing was thrown in
>> > my lap,
>> > and the person said, make it work. Basically, I am trying to get a
>> > grip on
>> > where to look and what questions I need to ask to perform the system
>> > maintenance duties.
>> >
>> > The purpose of the environment is to serve as a webserver, currently
>> > serving
>> > webpages and managing forums.
>> >
>> > But, I'm fairly certain there is a great deal I am doing that is
>> > incorrect
>> > or could be done better. Soon, I'm going to need to setup a JBoss
>> > application server, and Subversion, which I suspect I can do from
>> > their
>> > support pages. What I'm not sure of is, how I should be handling the
>> > general
>> > systems administration.
>> >
>> > And, thanks again for the helpful comments. :)
>> > _______________________________________________
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I dreamed of Moses.  He wanted to put my hair into cornrows.  I said,
"I thought you were born way before those came into fashion?"  He
said, "Don't be silly, your dreams never follow the chronology of
history and the purpose of dreams is still quite a mystery even to
So I pulled up a lawn chair, took off my sword and shield and I laid
'em right down there.  He braided my hair in the shade of a bare
branch of a beautiful sycamore tree.
And when Moses finished he stared at me hard with a squint and a
grimace said "You look so damn good that I'm mad this isn't real life
and it's just a dream."

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